Publisher: Goose Lane
Four years ago, Ali Blythe arrived with Twoism, a remarkable debut collection, every line shimmering with life and shivering with erotically charged glimpses of completeness. Now in Hymnswitch, Blythe takes up the themes of identity and the body once again, this time casting an eye backwards and forwards, visiting places of recovery and wrestling with the transition into one’s own skin. Readers will find themselves holding their breath at the risk and beauty and difficulty of the balance Blythe strikes in the midst of ineffable complexity.
Combining a stark, tensile precision with musicality that lulls and surprises, Blythe, a surreal engineer of language, has once again created an unusually memorable collection. Imbued with emotional awareness, these stunning poems will imprint readers with startling images and silences as potent as words.
Ali Blythe’s first book of poems, Twoism, was released by icehouse poetry to critical acclaim in 2015. He is the winner of the Vallum Award for Poetry, a finalist for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize, and the recipient of an honour of distinction from the Writers Trust of Canada for emerging LGBTQ writers. Blythe’s poems have been published in literary journals and anthologies in Canada, Germany, Slovenia, and England. Blythe is also editor-in-chief of the Claremont Review, an international art and writing magazine for youth. He lives in Victoria.